Pondering Christmas

star over manger

“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)

I’ve been pondering this verse for a little while now, and what I would give to know all the things Mary pondered about Jesus. First there was the visit by the angel, Gabriel, who broke to her the news of the virgin’s upcoming birth of a son, the long awaited Messiah. Then there was the joyful leaping of the yet to be born John the Baptist from inside of his mother, Elizabeth, upon entering the same room as his womb bound Savior. So far, this is pretty exciting, but what about the unremarkable birth in Bethlehem that followed? There wasn’t even room for Jesus at the inn, so Mary delivered Him in a manger. Ponder that! Certainly, Mary must have wondered why He was not given a more noble birth place or welcoming party. There was no crown, no throne and no gifts until much later when the wise men visited.

Well, it wasn’t long and the shepherds arrived, having been visited by angels, and they were the first to greet the Son of God, wrapped in swaddling clothes. When they saw Jesus, the shepherds told the parents all the angels had said concerning this young Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And it was at that point, we’re told, “Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Try and imagine all that Mary had been told and seen up to that point. Amazing!

But how much more amazing is it, from our vantage point two thousand years later, to ponder the full weight of Christmas. What God has done for us is incomprehensible in human terms. Jesus, “who was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, BORN in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8) Shall we not treasure such a thing in our hearts?! What could the Lord Jesus Christ have done for you more than He has by coming, except in His return at the next advent? How can you escape from pondering such things?

The season of advent is now upon us once again. Let us not forget to celebrate, treasure and ponder the birth or Him who redeemed us from the sin that cut us off from our Creator. Read the Christmas narratives, sing the Christmas carols that speak of great truths, give of yourself to others as Jesus has given unto you, and use the opportunity of the season to encourage others to ponder. Don’t let Christmas sneak up on and overrun you, rather, treasure up and ponder in your heart the advent of your Savior and Redeemer. Take time to unwrap and appreciate the one Gift most worth pondering.

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